Sunday, March 5, 2017

The Welcome

I’ve heard three beautiful words over and over again. “Welcome to our country.”  

I didn’t think much about those words when we arrived in this beautiful country and the airline stewardess welcomed us.  Those words were probably memorized rote, or so I assumed.

Over the last few days, an unexpected truth has become clear. They mean it.

When I meet people for the first time, those three sweet words are almost always spoken. Welcome to our country. 

What’s shocked me about their greeting is that it’s clearly more than words. I’ve been welcomed into their homes as a treasured guest. 

“Come, come. Let’s have tea.” 

Some days, I’m overwhelmed by the breadth of hospitality. No one is in too big a hurry to stop for a few moments, brew a pot of tea, and savor the warm, sweet liquid with whomever is available. 

Supervisors with employees. Family with strangers. No one is left out.

That’s how heaven will be, of course. We’ll all be family, whether we’ve known each other on earth or not. We’ll all take the time to share a few moments together, savor sweet stories of our Savior, and enjoy the Presence.

I want to take this amazing bit of hospitality home with me. I want to stop rushing and doing long enough to slow down and be. To welcome those around me, particularly those who are strangers. 

I want to be the one who says, Welcome to my bit of the world. I’m glad you’re here.” 

Most of all, I want to be the one who really means it.

Even more important, though, I want to be the one who welcomes people to the place of my Father. I want to be the one who says, "Come, come. Let's take a moment to visit and let me introduce you to the One I love the most."

It will never happen from a heart of busyness, but only from a Mary-heart of peace and stillness. 

At home, I thought I had a heart of stillness. In this place, I'm finding I don't even know what that means. Today, I invite you to join me in seeking our Lord and the place of stillness, in which the heart of prayer resides.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10